Deirdre McNamer featured at Dances with Words

UMW News Bureau

University of Montana English professor Deirdre McNamer will be the featured reader at the Nov. 1 University of Montana Western Dances with Words reading, 7:30 p.m. at The Cup. By Kaitlin Ens University of Montana English professor Deirdre McNamer will be the featured reader at the Nov. 1 University of Montana Western Dances with Words reading. Montana Western’s English department sponsors the Dances with Words series, which features spoken word by both local and visiting writers and poets. The public is always welcome to this free series. The presentation will be in UMW’s coffee shop, The Cup, located on the lower level of the Swysgood Technology Center on Monday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. McNamer plans to read from her fictional novel “Red Rover” for half an hour and will be available for questions after her reading. The author of multiple books, McNamer favors fiction as her genre of choice. “I write fiction because I've found that it is a wonderful way to travel without leaving one's chair,” McNamer explained. “The trips can be anywhere, in any era. They can go into anyone's mind, imagination, memories.” Her enjoyment of fiction is shared by her readers. McNamer, who received her M.F.A. from the University of Montana in 1987, has an impressive list of published novels including “Rima in the Weeds,” “One Sweet Quarrel,” and “My Russian.” Her most recent novel, “Red Rover,” was published in 2007. Jim Shepard, a published author and professor at Williams College, described the novel as “a tale of the heartbreak of beautiful young lives wrecked by the great grinding machinery of governments going about their business.” In addition to her novels, McNamer also has publications in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Doubletake, and the New York Times opinion page. McNamer’s busy schedule of teaching at The University of Montana does not impede her ongoing projects. She is currently working on another novel, which is about “a comic mystery involving elderly people and condominiums,” McNamer explained. She hopes to complete the story during the upcoming winter. McNamer’s invitation to read at Dances with Words marks her first reading appearance on the University of Montana Western campus. The university and local patrons fund the Dances with Words series. The next Dances with Words will feature Jenni Fallein on Nov. 18.